Three years late, the Travel Ipswich project continues
PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 March 2016
It's three years behind schedule, but another phase of the much-criticised Travel Ipswich programme is about to get under way.
The road between Major’s Corner and Woodbridge Road is to be rebuilt and new traffic lights are to be installed at the junction of Bond Street and St Helen’s Street and outside the Regent Theatre.
The work was originally due to take place between February and April 2013, but the Travel Ipswich schedule was changed and engineers are only now about to start the project.
And it is not the last part of Travel Ipswich. Work to pedestrianise Queen Street and the top of Princes Street – which should have been completed by November 2013 – is due to start in June. Although the county council’s website claims that the Travel Ipswich project is now finished, cabinet member for transport James Finch confirmed that the Major’s Corner work was part of the larger scheme. He said: “This is a significant project that will considerably improve the traffic flow in the area. It’s hugely important that we invest properly in our roads.
“These latest improvements are another piece in the jigsaw of the wider regeneration of the town, which will benefit both local businesses and visiting shoppers.”
Labour transport spokeswoman Sandra Gage said the delays to Travel Ipswich had brought the whole project into disrepute.
She said: “Ipswich residents and councillors have asked for months what has happened to the final stages and completion of Travel Ipswich.
“Without all planned works completed the promised easing of traffic congestion around the town has been difficult to see.
“I have always been supportive of the principles of Travel Ipswich, but the county council’s delay in getting on with Majors Corner and Woodbridge Road/Argyle Street junction improvements has left Ipswich residents feeling that almost two years of roadworks disruption due to this scheme had been for nothing.
“North East Ipswich residents have not really seen any benefit from Travel Ipswich. I hope now that will change.”
The work will lead to serious disruption to traffic around Major’s Corner between the middle of April and early June with temporary traffic lights and road closures likely to cause extra delays for motorists.